Feedback is central to collaboration. This is true for any size project, but truer and truer the bigger it gets.

No doubt, it’s a two-edged sword that can cut a project to pieces, fracturing its focus and gutting its spark.

Designers have been complaining for years about decision-makers who request outrageous changes at the worst possible moment, rather than taking the time to catch issues during the review process.

Still, we need feedback, and we often need feedback from people with wildly varying ideas about what it is we do and how we work. It’s up to you, not only to clarify your role, but also to reconsider it often, because it will change and evolve.

One way to do that, and make the most of all that review power, is with a Review Guide:

At each presentation, at each phase of the project, tell the review team what kind of feedback you need, and explain how honoring this will save time and resources. I predict this will never get old. Every time, at each phase, provide a list of exactly what is expected, and provide it in a checklist form. And every time, at each phase, inform the reviewers that skipping the items on this list is likely to result in delays and expense.

Keep in mind that this puts the onus of achieving ideal results squarely on you. If you neglect to include an important item on the checklist, or include it at the wrong phase, it becomes your responsibility.

That is, of course, if everyone completely honors the Guide. 😀

I’ll be sharing more thoughts about how to create Review Guides in the weeks ahead, so if it sounds like a tool you can use, please stay tuned!

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